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October 1989

How Many Americans Will Be Eligible for Biliary Lithotripsy?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Md.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(10):1195-1200. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410100097017

• Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy has received increasing attention as a possible alternative to cholecystectomy. Good data, however, are not available on what percentage of the 500 000 Americans presently undergoing cholecystectomy annually might be eligible for extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. Therefore, we studied 100 consecutive adult patients undergoing cholecystectomy and applied present exclusion criteria to determine their suitability for extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. In each patient, preoperative history and operative findings were reviewed. Gallstone size and number were recorded, and cholesterol content and radiopacity were determined. Cholesterol stones were found in 74 patients, pigment stones in 21, and acalculous cholecystitis in 5. Of the 100 patients, only 19 (19%) had no exclusion criteria and, thus, would have been eligible for extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. These data suggest that approximately 95 000 Americans a year will be candidates for shock wave biliary lithotripsy.

(Arch Surg. 1989;124:1195-1200)

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